STATE RACES: There are only Democrats and Republicans on offer here, two heads of one political coin. We won't be voting for any of them.
COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS: We suggest a write-in vote for Kathy Wylie of Mendocino. Ms. Wylie was the only truly qualified person in the race but didn't make it past the primary election. Why? Because the entrenched edu-establishment of this county saw her as a threat to business as usual. A long-time basketball coach from Point Arena, Warren Galletti, easily won the primary, so easily only he and a County Office administrator called Paul Joens-Poulton, are on the general election ballot, although Joens-Poulton announced weeks ago he was withdrawing from the race because he had so much work to do at MCOE's Talmage spa, his belatedly alleged workload not being a consideration until after Galletti swamped him in the primary. Under outgoing Superintendent Paul Tichinin, and long before him, the Mendocino County Office of Education has been a sinkhole of low intensity corruption — cronyism; conference and travel chiseling; three hour lunches, gross incompetence. This is an agency that need not exist. It doesn't do anything that the individual school districts of Mendocino County could not do better and a lot cheaper. The Superintendent is paid upwards of $120,000 a year for presiding over an errant agency that exists only to take big cuts from the state and federal money flowing to the County's individual school districts, money that should be going directly to classroom instruction. From Tichinin's website, er, excuse me, “Paul's” website. “Paul serves 12 school and community college districts, supervises approximately 200 educational employees and oversees a budget of $36 million including SELPA dollars that serves 13,688 students,” but MCOE serves “Paul” most of all. WRITE IN WYLIE.
THIRD DISTRICT SUPERVISOR: Holly Madrigal. Seems like all the boys up in the North County can't bear the thought of a durn gurrrrllll sitting as their supervisor, but can any of you boys point to a single local issue that Woodhouse has taken a stand on? Sure, he's for more water storage, but who isn't? Monsieur Pinches, the present supervisor that Woodhouse and Mrs. Madrigal hope to replace, is now a Woodhouse man, without saying why. As is Clay Romero who got knocked off in the primary. And, natch, Mr. No Stance himself, Hal Wagenet, is for the No Stance guy, Woodhouse. (Entrenched local bureaucrats were so pleased that Wagenet had succeeded Pinches when Pinches ran for the State Senate, that they threw a welcome party for Wagenet who, predictably, always gave them everything they wanted.) A whole lotta guys are for Woodhouse, and not one has said why because all they know about him is that he smiles a lot and pats them on the head no matter what errant nonsense they come up with. Pinches came out late for Woodhouse, which indicates a lack of enthusiasm for the candidate. Can't blame Pinches since North County libs generally opposed him, and Holly is identified with that particular albatross, Mendolib. Mendolib always opposed Pinches, although he's been a very good supervisor, and much better on most issues than the self-identified “progressives”of the Colfax, Smith, Hamburg type, all three of whom are fortunate not to be doing prison time. Mendolib isn't generally interested in local. They're big issue people — foreign affairs, gmo's, fracking, tibetan peace flags, dope (especially dope) and so on. For supervisor, we want people who make local government work. Holly, as an elected Willits official, has had to take stands on a range of controversial issues while Woodhouse has yet to take a stand on anything. In fact, he's gone so far as to say he doesn't much believe in government, although I'm sure he'll cash his government checks if he's elected supervisor. Woodhouse, speaking to reporter Mike A'Dair of the Willits Weekly: “Ten or 15 years ago, I thought when we had emergencies or problems, government would be there handing us what we needed, and they had it under control. The time I’ve spent working with government, they do not have it under control. Government: its purpose is not to rescue us. We have to be involved and rescue ourselves and our neighbors. It’s really up to individuals. Everybody keeps saying: What can government do for me? Well, how much more money do you want to hand government to dole back to you? It’s not going to work. We’re going to have less money and a flat revenue and less money.” Holly's entire political life has been focused on local issues; she's always taken intelligent, defensible stands even if we disagreed with her, and we say this as people who are often irritated by her resort to Feeb-Think, eg, "envisioning" this or that and etc. And we think there's a big Oink factor at work in the opposition to her, as a suspiciously large number of North County men line up against her. But we think she'll be a good supervisor. Woodhouse won't be bad either, but we think MADRIGAL for Third District Supervisor.
STATE JUDGES: We recommend a NO vote on all the state judges either up for confirmation or on the ballot to ratify their re-appointment. None of us have the slightest idea whether or not any of these people should be sitting in judgment of others because we know nothing about them other than most of them are political appointees. NO ON ALL THE JUDGES.
PROPOSITION 1 WATER BOND A word about state bonds: They are a means of borrowing. There are so many piled up out there that they'll never be paid off, or even partially paid off, until they collapse with the rest of our Ponzi-like economy. This one, promoted by the governor, says it will do all manner of good things, some of them indeed desirable, such as enhanced groundwater storage. But there is also the justified suspicion that a lot of the money will be backdoor funding for shipping more NorCal water to water-profligate Central California's corporate farms and on to Southern California's swimming pools. Governor Brown has long lobbied for a latter-day version of the Peripheral Canal, now revived in the form of Twin Tunnels, through which more water from Northern California's deep mountain outback would be sent south. NO ON 1.
PROPOSITION 2 Budget Stabilization or the so-called “rainy day fund.” Basically, this would shuffle money from one account to another, some of that money coming out of school reserves. The way money works in Sacramento is this: It's shifted in harmony with the political winds, not according to ballot propositions. At the moment, our federal government is simply printing more of it to pay off the banks for ripping us off back in 2008. It's all funny money at this point, and one day soon it's going to collapse in terrible, terrible ways. But in Sacramento, the big boys and girls get together and say, “We'll take $258 mil outta contingency 342-F and put it into blank-draw interface account 875.” Nobody can keep accurate track of state money because, strictly speaking, there isn't any, unless you consider debt as real money. But on this one? Why not? It doesn't matter one whit. YES ON 2.
PROPOSITION 45: Healthcare Stabilization. As most of us saps found out the hard way, ObamaCare required US, by law, to buy health insurance. Natch, as soon as the insurance combines had US all by the shorthairs, they began raising prices. Prop 45 would mandate that the state's Insurance Commissioner, historically a captive of the insurance industry, approve rate hikes. One way or the other, most of us are screwed. BUT YES ON 45.
PROPOSITION 46 Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors. Me dear old Mum was a registered nurse. She often stated versions of, “Don't tell me about doctors. They're all drug addicts and drunks.” Deep into her dotage, I once took DOM to a neurologist, a young woman who specialized in medicating the elderly out of their rages. I heard the doctor ask, “When did you last see a doctor, Mrs. Anderson?” Mum replied in something of a shout, “I've never seen a doctor! Why the hell do you think I'm still alive?” Most of her working years were spent in pre-dope times when doctors and nurses had unrestricted access to the heavy meds and a lot of them did indeed seem overly fond of the bottle, hence By the way, and for the edification of you union bashers, Mum's pay doubled when nurses unionized. Her pay went immediately from $300 a month to $600 a month. Needless to say, the doctors fought the nurses every inch of the way. Test the bastards in the memory of my mother! YES ON 46.
PROPOSITION 47 Criminal Sentences. We all know that sentences are often out of all proportion to the offense. Possession of small amounts of dope, for instance, should not be adjudicated as felonies. YES ON 47.
PROPOSITION 48 Indian Gaming Compacts. Sends some casino sucker money from two tribes to mostly local governments to defray costs related to casinos. Although casinos are exempt from local laws, it costs local jurisdictions plenty to hook up infrastructure and police casinos. YES ON 48.
MEASURE S, the Mendo Fracking Ban, a local initiative to prohibit the practice here in Mendoland where, of course, it's not even a possibility. However, a lot of Measure S skeptics seem to think America can frack its way to energy independence. Wrong. Fracking is very expensive. At the mo, lots of frackers are giving it up because oil prices are down and, we understand, a lot of fracking fields are already exhausted. Long-term — for those of you who still believe there will be a long-term — fracking is not viable for a whole lot of reasons YES ON MEASURE S.
UKIAH CITY COUNCIL: As inland people are sooooo fully aware, at long last the silliest of the silly people are gone from the Council. No more Little Benj, no more Mari Rodin, no more Landis. Incumbent Scalmanini, like town mayor Red Phil, has silly tendencies, but so far, other than an impulse to nitpick, Scalamini, a PC sorta dude, has been on task and, as an appointee, he's not up yet for election. The fifth councilman, Crane, has been a veritable rock of commonsense, but he's not up for re-election, and when he does come up should be returned.
WE THINK Red Phil Baldwin has been mostly sensible and should be held over, and we think Jim Brown, former County probation officer, and Ukiah businesswoman Maureen Mulheren, will make for a return to reality-based city leadership for the County seat.
FORT BRAGG CITY COUNCIL: Fort Bragg has lately suffered a Ukiah-like miasma, with Sillies dominant, especially after the smart and locally-focused Dan Gjerde went over the hill to serve as Fourth District Supervisor. The fog belt sillies are attempting to insert the howlingly incompetent Mark Iancuaniello as replacement for Meg Courtney, who is retiring. Dave Turner and Heidi Kraut are running for re-election. They hope to be joined by Iancuaniello. Courtney, Turner and Kraut comprised a silly majority, a fact confirmed by their attempt to now shove Iacuaniello down Fort Bragg's unsuspecting throat. No one but… Well, suffice it to say that no fully cognizant, fully responsible adult American could possibly vote for Iacuaniello, a retired Mendocino County “educator.”
THE FOG BELT SILLIES are desperately opposed to the candidacies of Michael Cimolino and Lindy Peters. Why? No real reason other than Peters and Cimolino aren't them. Which is reason enough to vote for Peters and Cimolino, and we urge Fort Bragg to do just that.